If you’re wondering why Medellin Colombia is known as ‘The City of Eternal Spring’, wait until you experience its glorious climate for the first time!

Fringed by the magnificent Andes Mountain, Medellin boasts a temperate climate all year long, making it the ideal destination for fans of the great outdoors. As Colombia’s second-largest city, Medellin sure packs a punch, with an array of activities to suit just about all kinds of travelers. Foodies will be thrilled by the diverse offerings while families will find plenty to keep the kids entertained.

Given that it’s now a significant industrial and cultural hub that draws millions of tourists each year, very few people know that when it was first founded in 1616, Medellin was initially a humble little village. It wasn’t until 1826 that it became the capital city of Antioquia. After Medellin’s independence from Spain, it started to grow super rapidly, becoming a significant transportation center throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

With salsa-fueled evenings, amazing eats, and welcoming people, it should come as no surprise that Medellin is such a sought-after destination.

Enough talk. Let’s check out the 11 main reasons why you should add this incredible city to your bucket list!

Man looking over vista in Medellin, Colombia
Cos it’s DOPE!
Photo: @Lauramcblonde

The BEST Reasons to Visit Medellin

Most people think of visiting Medellin to acquire snow samples for $1, and whilst (for some) that can be fun, there is a whole lot more to this city. Below are my favourite reasons to visit Medellin in 2024; enjoy!

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    1. The People are Exceptionally Welcoming

    And I do mean exceptionally welcoming! I guess this shouldn’t really come as a surprise since South America is known for being quite friendly. And trust me when I say you’ll really feel the warmth and kindness during your stay in Medellin, Colombia.

    Having coffee with a local in Medellin, Colombia
    This lad even offered to buy us coffee after bonding over football
    Photo: @joemiddlehurst

    Paisas (Medellin locals) tend to be both extroverted and family-oriented. It’s not uncommon for total strangers to smile at you on the street or engage in small talk on the bus, something that only adds to the overall charm of the place!

    2. There’s Nothing Quite Like the Nightlife  

    If there’s one thing Medellin Colombia is famous for, it’s the super lively nightlife. If you’d like to get your party game on, then there’s no better destination than El Poblado. It’s an up-and-coming neighborhood that’s quite popular with backpackers.

    tequila on a shelf in Medellin, Colombia
    It’s not just Mexicans who love their tequila…
    Photo: @joemiddlehurst

    This place is known for its many nightclubs and bars such as Calle 9 +1, Club Oraculo, and Klok Club. For live performances, head over to Eslabon Prendido on Tuesday nights. Located in Downtown Medellin, this place attracts plenty of locals and tourists alike.

    For safety reasons, it’s recommended to travel with a group. Solo female travellers in particular should take care. Make sure you’ve got a cab waiting when visiting the downtown area at night.

    3. Some Walking Tours are Free

    If you ask me, there’s no better way to properly mosey around a new city and uncover its hidden gems than through a walking tour! Luckily enough, you’ll find quite a few free tours all over Medellin.

    I can recommend Real City Tours that’ll take you across some of the city’s most historic spots. English-speaking guides will regal you with stories, explanations, and a hefty dose of urban legends.

    These walking tours usually last 3.30 hours and are held from Monday to Sunday. The tours are completely free, but tips are appreciated.

    Graffiti tour in Comuna 13, Medellin, Colombia
    Seeing Comuna 13 is one of the best reasons to visit Medellin
    Photo: @joemiddlehurst

    Some walking tours may also stop by the Comuna 13 neighborhood which used to be one of Medellin’s most dangerous areas. Things used to be so bad over there that people needed to cross a security checkpoint before being allowed in Comuna 13 and access was only reserved for residents.

    Nowadays, this neighborhood has become something of a tourist attraction thanks to its many murals depicting the area’s dark past. While it’s definitely safer than before, it’s still recommended to visit Tour Comuna 13 as part of a group tour during the day instead of going there alone after dark.

    4. You’ll Find Museums All Over the Place

    It won’t take you long to realize that the city houses some of the best exhibition spaces and museums in Colombia!

    Perfect for families traveling with children, the Parque Explore Science Museum in Aranjuez is modeled after the Exploratorium in San Francisco. It offers plenty to keep the kids busy for an afternoon. Expect a 3D cinema, a Vivarium, and even the largest freshwater aquarium in South America.

    Alternatively, you can also check out the Museo de Antioquia, dedicated to Fernando Botero, Medellin’s most popular artist.

    In the mood for something different? Head over to the Cementerio Museo de San Pedro which is both a museum and a cemetery. Here you can learn more about the lives and contributions of several famous Colombians. Watch out for special events such as movie nights and midnight tours.

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    5. Flowers are Celebrated  

    Visiting Medellin, Colombia in late July or early August? Then you’ll certainly be in for a treat!

    Medellin is well-known for its colorful blooms and each year, the city celebrates the Flower Festival which spans over ten months. Locally known as the Feria De Las Flores, the Flower Festival features over 140 traditional and cultural events. This includes a parade of vintage cars, and an orchestra.

    My favorite part of this Colombian festival has to be the Trova. It’s an event that sees amateur and professional singers ‘duel’ each other using improvised songs.

    The highlight of the festival is no doubt the Silleteros parade where local florists parade all over the city while carrying their own unique handcrafted flower arrangements on their backs. This festival truly is a feast for the eyes. Virtually every single yard, balcony, mall, and street is filled with brightly-hued floral arrangements.

    If you’d like to attend this festival, I suggest that you book your accommodation ahead of time. Colombians and tourists pour into the city in August to celebrate Feria De Las Flores.

    6. Futbol is Practically an Institution

    Soccer (or Futbol as it’s known in Colombia) is practically a religion in South America. Even if you’re not exactly a soccer fan, I would still recommend that you try to catch a game during your stay in Medellin for the experience. Believe me when I say there’s nothing quite like the thrill of joining those fervent fans as they cheer on the home team!  

    The city has two local teams: Independiente Medellín and Atlético Nacional. It’s tradition for opposing supporters to sit on either side of the stadium otherwise things tend to get heated up if they’re too close to each other.

    Football match in Medellin, Colombia
    Attending an Independiente Medellín game was AWESOME!
    Photo: @joemiddlehurst

    While the ticket prices normally vary according to the game, you may wish to budget around $12 to $15 per match.

    7. There are Plenty of Outdoor Spaces  

    Since the weather in Medellin, Colombia is famously delightful, it’s not unsurprising to see locals hanging out around the plazas and parks during their lunch break or after work. I can absolutely vouch for the Botero Plaza, located near the Museum of Antioquia.

    Stretching over an expanse of 7,000 m², this park features over 20 sculptures crafted by local artist Fernando Botero. It’s quite a lively place, with artists, street performers, and even locals bursting into spontaneous songs or dances. Because it’s located in the Old Quarter, the Botero Plaza is a great jumping point for visiting some of the best restaurants and cafes in Medellin.

    Antioquia Medellin

    You can also check out Parque Lleras, a sprawling park filled with food sellers, vendors, and locals knocking back local beer until the early hours of the morning. This is easily one of my favorite places to people-watch while soaking up that unique Medellin vibe!  

    Parque Lleras is admittedly always filled with people though so if you’re looking for a quieter venue, you can always head over to the Paque De Los Pies Descalzos which translates to ‘Barefoot Park’. True to its name, this park offers the perfect setting to kick off your shoes and relax as you stroll barefoot through the sandboxes, grassy areas, bamboo gardens, and water boxes.

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    8. The City is Aptly Located

    One of the (many) great things about Medellin is that it offers easy access to some of Colombia’s most beautiful villages.

    If you’ve got some extra time to spare, you can always take a tour over to Guatapé, a colorful lakeside village that lies around 2 hours from Medellin. In addition to its picturesque lake, Guatapé is known for El Peñol, an impressive granite structure that features over 700 stairs leading up to the summit. It’ll only cost you around $5.50 per person to climb up to the top and I promise that the views are entirely worth it!  

    Happy backpacker walking into the jungle with big backpack.
    On the way to the Lost Village…
    Photo: @Lauramcblonde

    Are you looking for something closer to Medellin? Then board the Metrocable and head over to the Parque Arvi, located east of the city. Fringed by the Andean mountains, Parque Arvi also happens to be a great jumping point to Santa Elena, a pretty little town that lies on top of the Aburra Valley.

    9. The Weather is Freakin’ Awesome

    Because the weather in Medellin is always brimming with springlike warmth, there’s no bad time to visit the city!

    Like most tropical climates, the city has frequent rainfalls, but these don’t generally last long. The city sees two rainy seasons: the first starts in April and May and the second runs from October through November.

    Rest assured that it normally rains in the late afternoon or evening, leaving you free to pursue plenty of outdoor pursuits during the day. Accommodation prices tend to go down during the rainy seasons- perfect for budget travelers.

    Comuna 13 in Medellin Colombia
    Look how blue the sky is mate, look!
    Photo: @joemiddlehurst

    The average temperature in the city normally floats between 63°F and 83°F and remains pretty consistent throughout the year so be sure to pack your summer clothing! If you’re planning on hiking the mountains, be sure to bring some outer layers because the higher up you go, the colder it’ll get.

    If visiting in January or February, bear in mind that several locals will be on vacation, so some businesses can be closed.

    Personally, I prefer to visit in December (Medellin’s festive season is positively magical!) or during the dry season (March through June). Alternatively, you may also consider visiting in August to catch the legendary Flower Festival.

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    10. There are Plenty of Amazing Eats + COFFEE!

    I’m sure by now you’ve realized there are heaps of exciting things to do in Medellin, but did you know that the city also happens to be an absolute haven for foodies?

    Yep- if you’re anything like me, you’ll certainly have a blast uncovering all those scrumptious specialties speckled all over the city. Colombian food tends to be super hearty, with plenty of emphasis on meats and carbs.

    A typical breakfast in Medellin is Calentado, which loosely translates to ‘reheated’. This is because most Colombians tend to have last night’s rice and beans leftovers for breakfast. Believe me, it tastes so much better than it sounds!

    friends eating food in Medellin
    The coffee here is a fab reason to visit Medellin
    Photo: @joemiddlehurst

    Lunch in Medellin tends to be quite substantial, with three courses on the menu. Rest assured that you can dawdle over lunch for as long as you want to when eating out since it’s meant to be quite leisurely. Midday meals usually consist of soup, starches like plantains or potatoes, as well as meats and vegetables.

    Some Colombians like to wash down their lunches with a Tinto, a tiny cup of black coffee. The coffee in Colomia is some of the ebst in the world. If you’re into your coffee, why not take a coffee tour in Medellin?

    An iconic Colombian dish, Bandeja Paisa is commonly served for dinner. It’s made up of the classic beans and rice alongside plantain, Arepa (cornbread), avocado, and a variation of proteins such as ground beef, Chicharron, and eggs- think the local version of an English fry-up!

    Mondongo is another local specialty that you may wish to try during your stay in Medellin. Now, this colorful soup is usually made from beef tripe but if you don’t have an adventurous palette, rest assured that there are other variations as well.

    11. Medellin is safe!

    Okay, here comes the big question. Given its tumultuous past, is Medellin safe to visit now?

    Graffiti of a colourful, psychedelic giraffe in Comuna 13, Medellin, Colombia
    Comuna 13 is NOT what it once was
    Photo: @joemiddlehurst

    Well, the short answer is: Yes!

    I won’t sugar-coat it for you though. It’s true that Medellin used to be the most dangerous city in the world, with all sorts of violent crimes running rampant. It was also once home to Pablo Escobar’s notorious Medellin Cartel.

    Speaking of, I would really advise you to skip any Pablo Escobar-related tour out of respect for the locals. His violent legacy and life caused plenty of harm to the population which is why some locals refuse to even say his name out loud.

    Medellin did come a long way from its violent past which is why the city is now one of the most visited places in Colombia. You still need to make use of common sense and adopt the usual travel precautions though. For instance, it’s advisable to avoid areas like Barrio Trinidad, Parque Periodista, and the Parque de las Luces after dark.

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    Final Thoughts on Reasons to Visit Medellin

    In a nutshell, Medellin is a dream come true for well-seasoned and inexperienced travelers alike!

    There are so many reasons to visit Medellin, and I couldn’t cover them all in one blog post. Attractions are plentiful, but if you’ve got some extra time and money to spare, you can even take a few day trips to explore the many wonders that lie just a few hours outside the city.   

    Yes, you should be careful, and yes, some neighborhoods are best avoided at night but if you ask me, Medellin is a city that’s well worth visiting. With stunning landscapes, incredible eats, fun festivals, and super friendly locals, there’s definitely plenty to keep you entertained for weeks on end!

    But hey, you don’t have to take my word for it- grab your passport, zip up your suitcase, and go check out Medellin Colombia for yourself!

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